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This Workout Community Is Helping Women Get and Stay Fit

Photos: Courtesy of Stuart Miller, FLIPP Management

As one of the most popular fitness influencers around the world, Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines reaches millions of young women from her home gym in Adelaide, Australia, every day.

In fact, the new mom has 11.5 million Instagram followers and counting.

“For me, social media has provided an opportunity to create a positive space to support women through their health and fitness journey,” said Itsines, 28, adding that through the Sweat app, where she provides workout videos and tips, she’s able to connect with her Bikini Body Guide (BBG) community. BBG is the original training program Itsines and her business partner and fiancé, Tobi Pearce, who is also a personal trainer, created in 2014.

“Social media also allows us to connect with others who add positivity and value to our lives,” she said. “It can be a great way to connect with like-minded people, which is evident in the BBG and wider Sweat communities.”

Jump-starting others’ fitness journeys

For many women, the most appealing part of Itsines’ programs is that they’re accessible anywhere, right from users’ smartphones or tablets. That ease of use is intentional, Itsines said.

“Digital fitness and apps like Sweat have made working out accessible to any woman, anywhere, and at any time,” she said. “For many women, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to fitness. It can also be hard to stick to a workout program or find the time to fit it in their schedules.”

Furthermore, apps like Itsines’ can help instruct people aspiring to develop a fitness routine, but who don’t necessarily know how to begin or who to turn to for help.

“Using an app or digital guide can help provide the tools and education women need to start their fitness journey, help guide them through workouts, and navigate their way through the gym, Itsines said. “Flexibility and variety are so important when starting and committing to a workout program.”

Itsines added she’s passionate about giving her followers those training lessons through her programs, which offer disciplines like plyometrics, weight training, yoga, and high-intensity interval training.

Teaching others how to self-motivate

Through social media, Itsines, whose heritage is Greek, often shares what she’s eating and how she stays motivated to fit fitness into her routine. One of the most common questions she gets, she has shared online, is what she eats daily. For her, she said, meals are simple but functional in terms of their nutrition and ability to fuel her workouts.

“Adding energy-rich foods to your meals can be the boost you need, especially if you’ve just started a new workout routine,” she said. “I often incorporate proteins like eggs or salmon into my meals. They are both versatile, can be added to almost any meal, and have great health benefits.

“Brown rice is another food I like to add into my meals, as it provides a slow energy release, which is perfect for when you have a long day ahead of you. Apples and almonds make for great healthy snacks, as well as fresh, seasonal fruit with Greek yogurt.”

Finding what motivates you is also key for developing and sticking with a new exercise routine. In Itsines’ case, that’s playing music in her car or on her headphones on the way to the gym to rev her up for a workout. Getting a good night’s sleep is also crucial, she added.

Leaning on a support system, as the BBG community has illustrated, doesn’t hurt either.

“[The members of the BBG community] are such a big part of my life, and to hear their stories and how my BBG programs have changed their relationship with exercise and their body is truly incredible,” Itsines said. “They inspire and drive me every day to continue working on my programs and create content that adds value to their journey.”

Melinda Carter, [email protected]

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